Camper travelers’ frustrations to avoid when operating a camper area

As the number of camper areas in Europe increases exponentially to keep pace with the growing number of camper travelers, it is worthwhile to start thinking professionally about camper area management. And that means thinking about customer experience, and avoiding things or procedures that frustrate your customer, the camper traveler.

Long check-in and check-out procedures

The vast majority of camper travelers chooses this way of travel because of the sense of freedom it provides. They want to feel free to change location, to change their plans and not be bound by too much of advance planning. Some like to be in the nature, some prefer more urban locations.

But what none of them likes, is to wait their tour in front of a reception desk for 30 minutes and then go trough a painfully slow check-in procedure for another 30 minutes. And then checkout procedure is still to come. All of that might not be an issue if you stay for two or three weeks on the same place, but if like most camper travelers you change location every 3 to 4 days this is quite annoying.

Camping owners that want to attract camper travelers and extend their offer with a dedicated motorhome area should think about this and adapt their procedure. Don’t direct camper travelers to the regular reception, unless they intend to they on your camping. In stead, provide a frictionless, fast and flexible method for these customers to register and pay for their stay on your motorhome area.

Modern systems like camprea provide this, at a fraction of the cost of a classic gated system. And you get a bunch of other tools on top to improve your customer service.

closed reception at camper area
This will not contribute to the customer experience on the camper area
Noisy infrastructure, road noise, barking dogs all night

A camper or motorhome is acoustically an open box. All campers have forced ventilation, which means that the rooftop vents constantly let air pass through. But with the air also outside sounds pass through, almost as if the windows were open. In a camper, at night, you here everything.

A as camper area operator you should be aware of this. Motorhome travelers all use apps and read the reviews on your area. If many people mention noise issues (or other issues) on your camper area, this will quickly impact your occupancy rate. And that is very difficult to recover.

Think about this before choosing a suitable terrain for your area. And if you are already bound to a terrain, there are a couple of things you can consider to reduce the impact of environment noise.

  • The lay out of your camper area
    Organize the pitches and the service area, showers and reception desk in a way that noisy parts and pitches are separated as much as possible. Consider putting the shower and toilet building close to the roadside so it acts as a shield. If you have the space, put the door also on the roadside, so the noise of showers and toilets is directed roadside
  • Sound screens
    Consider installing sound screens where possible. They really do make a noticeable difference
  • Implement a policy
    Let your visitors know that as of a certain time, for example 23.00h, the area is silent. Include this information also on the outside of you area, it will indicate to visitors that you care, and maybe the neighborhood is also “nudged” into a moderate behavior late at night
Overcrowded camper areas

When camper travelers pay for a camper area, they expect a minimum in return. If they feel exploited, they will turn their back on your area and impact your future occupancy by posting negative reviews. One of the mistakes often made is to try to grab all opportunities in high season, and to accept more campers that your area was designed for. When the crowd is there, camper area owners are tempted to put campers anywhere. Sometimes they think they are providing a service to the newest arrivals: “we’re full but I will find you a spot”.
But while this might look like an easy win, this considerably impacts the customer experience of all your other camper area visitors. They feel too close to each other, they notice that the toilets and showers are less free than usual and probably less clean. And you can be absolutely sure that they talk about you as being greedy at the expense of their comfort. There is also a safety aspect, and in some cases regulation prohibits exceeding the authorized number of campers on your area.

Don’t get tempted. You will be rewarded by better reviews and a better average occupancy rate in the long term.

Uncomfortable showers and toilets

You would be surprised how big the frustration is when there are no clothing hooks in the showers. Such a cheap and simple thing as (missing) clothing hooks can actually become the talk of the day. Just like unclean, cold, messy showers and toilets.
If you are offering toilets and showers, you need to make sure they are more comfortable that what your visitors have on board of their campers.
Try your showers and and toilets yourself, and also ask other people if they have suggestions. You would be surprised how small improvements can have a huge impact.
One easy tip is music. Studies have shown that playing background music in toilets and showers make people feel much more positive, their overall impression improvers and they leave the facilities cleaner than without music. Simple, but very effective.

How get the most value out of your camper area